Iowa’s rate of confirmed H-1-N-1 flu cases is steadily decreasing. All suspected cases of the virus are now being tested at the University of Iowa Hygienic Lab.Lab director Chris Atchison expects the cases to drop through the summer.
"Certainly the number of tests that we’re doing are going down," Atchison said. "It’s difficult to say what the actual number is out in the community at this point. You’d also expect that as people get outside we’ll have less transmission so I think we are expecting the number of cases are going to go down as the spring and summer unfolds."
The total number of confirmed H-1-N-1 cases in Iowa climbed to 56 on Monday, up from 43 on Saturday. The C.D.C has confirmed 6 cases to bring the state total over 60. Atchison says the flu outbreak is not over but there are signs it’s not as bad as once feared.
"It was a fine line we walked between being really observant as to exactly what is this – without panicking people. I don’t think people panicked and I think that’s a good thing but I do think people were vigilant," Atchison said.
No Iowans have become sick enough with the disease to require hospitalization. Atchison says the flu strain could’ve been more dangerous.
"This could have been extremely deadly," Atchison said. "Remember the early reports from Mexico suggested a pretty lethal strain." The U-of-I Hygienic Lab has tested nearly 1,000 specimens for the H-1-N-1 virus.